Real Estate Market

Featured Listing

Featured Listing

For Sale: $695,000

More Information

Highlands County Market Trends

Tips to Relieve Home-buying Stress

Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make. It’s an exciting time as you look to begin a new chapter in your life. However, it’s also one of the most stressful times. In fact, buyers can get so stressed out that it affects their work, relationships and health. Here are a few tips to help relieve some of the stress you may face. 

Be Prepared 

Much of the stress in buying a home comes from the mountain of paperwork you have to deal with. From getting pre-approved for a home loan to making an offer to signing the closing papers, it seems like you’re always reading a document. 

To reduce the stress that comes from dealing with paperwork, the first thing you should do is be prepared. Have copies of paycheck stubs, tax returns and other documents in a file. Make a checklist of everything you will need and when so you don’t forget. If you have everything you need in the beginning, the lender won’t have to ask for it later. 

Buy Less Home than You Can Afford 

Another stressor is when you are trying to buy a home at the top of your budget. The lender may have to do some extra work to get you approved, or you may have to do some legwork. For instance, you may need to shop around for homeowner’s insurance until you find a quote that fits your budget.  

If you choose to buy a home that is $10,000 or more under your maximum budget, you’ll find it’s easier to get through the process faster. It will also help lower your monthly payments, which can be an additional cause of stress. 

Take a Break 

If you’re struggling finding a home, getting an offer accepted or getting through the home inspection, it may cause you to get upset and stressed out. Sometimes you just need a break. It may mean an afternoon with the kids having fun, or it might mean you should put house-hunting on hold for a few months.  

Try these tips to help you remain less stressed and more excited about your home purchase.  

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may, help you determine the value of your home or help you find your dream home.

Image courtesy /

Dealing with Structural Damage

The dreaded words no one wants to hear – structural damage. Whether you’re a buyer looking at a home inspection report or a seller who has received the results of an inspection, the idea that the home has damage to the structure is frightening. Most buyers will back away from the transaction at this point, and sellers may give up the idea of being able to sell their homes. However, it is possible to deal with this type of damage. 

What is Structural Damage? 

In simple terms, it is damage to the structure of your home. Some examples include the following: 

  • Cracked walls in the basement 

  • Cracks in the bricks of a house 

  • Floors that are uneven 

  • Windows or doors that stick or won’t open 

  • Cabinet doors or other doors that won’t stay closed 

Sometimes small cracks throughout the house are signs that there may be more serious problems lying underneath. In some cases, these problems have already been dealt with, especially in older homes. Other times, they indicate an issue you don’t want to inherit. 

What Can Be Done About Structural Damage? 

Contact your homeowner’s insurance policy if you are the owner of the home. Your policy may cover this kind of damage, which means someone who is an expert in structural damage will repair the issues.  

If the damage is old or the cause unknown and the policy doesn’t cover the cost of repairs, you will still want to have it looked at. Get at least two estimates on how to fix the issue and how much it will cost.  

Don’t always side with the lowest estimate. Some resolutions are really only temporary fixes when you want something more substantial. Make sure you know what will be done and if it will permanently fix the problem or if it is just temporary. For instance, someone may place hydraulic jacks under a house to keep it from settling, but it may not always be the most secure resolution. Others will replace damaged beams with new ones that will be installed next to the old beams to secure the house. 

Make sure you talk to an expert in foundation and structural repair. Understand what needs to be done and why so you can make an informed decision.

Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your home.  

Image courtesy of b0red/

How to Tame Clutter

Almost everyone has to deal with clutter at some point in their lives. It may be a cluttered desk at work, a cluttered room at home or even a cluttered closet or cabinet. It may be their own clutter, a spouse’s stuff or the kids’ things. It can be overwhelming, but you have to deal with it because it won’t go away on its own. 

Focus on One Spot 

It’s easy to get distracted when you’re faced with an entire room or house full of clutter. You can start with a table and before long, you’ve moved to the bed in the next room. Instead, just focus on one spot. Once you have cleaned it off, you’ll feel more motivated to work on the next area. 

Add Storage 

One of the reasons people have clutter is because they don’t have a place for everything. While you cannot add square footage to a house easily, you can make better use of the space with storage solutions. You can find totes, baskets and crates to hold items. Place them in a closet or on a shelf for attractive storage that is functional and decorative. 

Make a To-Go Pile 

As you clear through the clutter, set some guidelines about what you won’t keep. If you haven’t used it in a year, it should go. Don’t keep items “just in case” because you just end up with stuff you don’t need.  

Unfortunately, many people have the problem of keeping boxes and bags of items to give away. Take them to your vehicle as soon as you fill one up. The next time you’re out, you can drop those items at a charity organization.  

Create a Cleaning Schedule 

Cleaning up clutter isn’t a one-time event. You must stay on top of it or more will accumulate. Set a schedule once a month or more often if necessary to go through your hot spots for clutter. Clear it out before the mess gets out of hand. You’ll find it only takes a few minutes and you’ll get good at recognizing what to toss right away. 


Contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you determine the value of your home.  

Image courtesy joakant/ 

Client Testimonials

Simply the Best

You did a great job working with us on the purchase of our Florida home. We have moved many times and you were one of the finest Realtors we have dealt with.”

Carl & Alice Lundgren, Sebring, FL

Stress-Free Buying Experience

I was very pleased with our home buying experience. You were easy to work with and made me feel at ease during the buying process as a first-time homebuyer.

Melanie Boulay, Sebring, FL

Went Above and Beyond

Your services were well above what we expected. We will recommend your services to anyone without reservation.”
Mr. & Mrs. Raiman, Wilmington, IL



For the uninformed, blogging is hitting the Internet today and making a real impact!

What is a blog? An easy explanation of this is a WEB LOG or a journal on the web. It’s a place where folks can “voice” their thoughts, share ideas, or comment on those of others. 

Highlands County Florida now has such a blog where new items of interest will be posted and comments can be made. Topics range from those related to real estate and community highlights to local events of interest or anything personal or business related that might be perceived as worthwhile information for public knowledge, discussion and/or use. 

It’s even possible to subscribe to a blog of interest and receive text updates on your iPod! Check out the latest updates for the Highlands County Real Estate Blog:   

Thanks for reading my newsletter, and please feel free to forward this email in it's entirety to anyone you feel would benefit from it.    

To UNSUBSCRIBE scroll to bottom and use the link. You will be removed automatically and immediately. Please also ignore this newsletter if your home is listed with another broker. It's not our intent to solicit other brokers listings.

Contact Information

Photo of Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS Real Estate
Maureen Cool, CRS, CIPS, RSPS
RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South
Sebring FL 33870
Toll Free: 1 888 243-COOL (2665)
Fax: 863-385-5897

Maureen Cool * RE/MAX Realty Plus
809 US 27 South, Sebring, Florida 33870
Toll Free:  1-888-243-COOL (2665)
Office: 863-385-0077 X215
Direct: 863-873-7243
Fax: 863-385-5897



Maureen Cool of RE/MAX Realty Plus offers real estate services to buyers, sellers, relocation's in the Highlands County real estate area.

Including Polk County, Hardee County, Okeechobee County, Desota County and Glades County.

Whether you are looking for luxury, investment, second home, commercial, bank owned, foreclosures properties Maureen Cool and The Cool Team are your real estate professionals for the entire Central Florida area.

Maureen Cool is your Luxury Home Expert in Highlands County. 
She can assist you with your Sebring, Avon Park and Lake Placid real estate needs. 



This website is designed and maintained by
Kim Hughes Real Estate Virtual Assistant


Copyright © 2013 Maureen Cool. All rights reserved.

Unless otherwise indicated, all materials on these pages are copyrighted by Maureen Cool. All rights reserved. No part of these pages, either text or image may be used for any purpose other than personal use. Therefore, reproduction, modification, storage in a retrieval system or retransmission, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical or otherwise, for reasons other than personal use, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission.